Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Special Days and Angels Among Us

Today is a special day for me.  It is my birthday.  I am not fishing for birthday wishes. Indeed I have been inundated with them even before breakfast.   It is not special that I was born on this day.  What is special is that I have lived another year and seen kindness and love in the hearts of good people.

I would like to share with you one of my projects about which I am passionate.  Many of you have read about it before. Some of you have participated; and for that I love you.

This project I am speaking of is the Quilt Angels.  The Angels are dear kind and loving people who are willing to donate a quilt to show love and hope to teens who often feel unloved.  They have "learned" that the world can be a hard and unforgiving place. Some of them have never felt safe even in their own homes.  Some of them have been removed from dangerous homes or situations and now feel a fear of the world.  Can a child of fourteen thrive and succeed with that view of the world? Can anyone?

That is where Angels come in.  Each year I ask for my readers and their friends to become Angels.  By sending a quilt, which will be given to a teen in the shelter, you become one of our Angels.  The quilts should be at least 45 by 60.   A bed-sized quilt is even better as they can sleep under it each night for years and be reminded that there is love in the world.
There is a tab at the top of my blog labeled 'Quilt Angels'.  On that page there are links to past posts with more information about the project.
I will be finishing my "Wonky Nine Patch" quilt to go for this project. The photo below shows only one section in the planning stages.

I may also make an additional quilt if time permits.

So, if I can persuade you to be a Quilt Angel, my birthday will indeed be a happy one. I am declaring December 15th the "get it to us by"  date for 2014.  We like to deliver on the week prior to the week of Christmas if possible. However, a late quilt will be taken to the shelter and given to  a teen who comes into the program after the Christmas distribution.

Have a Beautiful Day,

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Quilting Mojo and more

At some point, my wonky nine patch quilt got pushed to the back burner.  My goodness, I think April was the last time I posted about this quilt!
Recap:  I am doing this quilt in three sections.  It is wonky nine patch blocks with sashing.  I am using a poly batting (that is harder to quilt!)
Here is a picture from "way back" showing some of the blocks.

I had finished quilting one third of this quilt and had started on the second third when I lost my mojo for it. The poly batting is to blame I think.  I still feel like I am wrestling alligators to quilt it.
But today, I finished quilting the second section.

While the quilting isn't quite "up to par" - it is quilted.  Once I quilt the last section I will join the sections with strips as I learned in Marguerita McManus'  books:

Finish (almost) Any Quilt

However,  that method uses pins and I don't like getting stuck. I mean, let's face it, I am clumsy.  So I am going to use LapelStick to hold the strips in place as I join the sections. 

Now I will let you in on a little secret.  Keep an eye on my blog.  I will be offering a special deal to my readers. We are talking major bargain!  I can't spill the beans just yet, but I think you will find it to be a great deal on a product that will save you some work and make life easier. (hint: look in the previous paragraph.)   As soon as I am told "Go with it" and have the coupon code to share with you, I will do a special post AND put it on my sidebar for your convenience. 

I have done a little bit of weaving to get ready for the ((((yikes!!!) holidays. They seem to be approaching too quickly.  But I do plan to be ready.  So I have woven these two scarves. 
Soft and snuggly colorwash scarf

Gimme Sparkle scarf

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sewing Chemo Caps

You may remember that I made Chemo Caps for my Aunt a while back.  Recently I discovered that a lady I know and think highly of has started Chemo also.  I sent her a message to find out the colors that she likes.  I am not sure I nailed it with my fabric choices, but I tried to make these pretty and happy looking.

Each of these are reversible so while there are four pictures, there are only two caps.  I also have a no-sew woven cap that I will be giving her.

As you can see the aqua blue one is lined with a butterfly designed fabric. 

Or is the butterfly cap lined with blue? 

The red an purple one is lined with a multi colored granite textured design fabric 

And here is the multi-colored one, I forgot to tie the ties on it when I was taking photos. 

The pattern I used is at THIS LINK  It is a PDF pattern.  Be sure that your print settings are set to actual size and NOT fit to page. 

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Late Post - Half Price SALE

This is a great time to learn a new skill and perhaps make some presents  for the upcoming holidays.

Craftsy's BIG Fall Course Sale!
(sponsored post)

Have you heard Craftsy's BIG Fall Course Sale is happening now? Learn from the world's best instructors in the comfort of your home, when you shop up to 50% off ALL online classes! Once you enroll you can watch your classes anytime, anywhere, forever. Hurry, offer expires September 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy's BIG Fall Course Sale and save.


My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Sister - In Memory

 Today would have been my sister's birthday. It is hard to believe she would be a grandmother, a woman of years.  She was a great big sister. Sure we fought, but "out there in the big world" she was my protector. In our early adulthood, we would go on "adwentures" (yes we could be silly.) A road we had passed many times but never turned down, became a mystery to be explored. 
Here are several pictures of her. The little girl in the picture is her daughter.  That darling little girl now has babe of her own, my sister's grand children.  Today, as always, I miss my sister and her zest for life and "adwenture."

I hope I don't bore you,  but here is an essay I wrote about her.  It comes from the heart and so on a day to honor her life, I share it with you.

A Final Goodbye

I stood in the cemetery looking down at the headstone. The marker stated a name and two dates. The first date is not within my memory. The second date burns and pulls at the corners of my mind. This date, May twenty-ninth, 1983, is a day that I cannot forget. You see, this plot of ground is my sister's resting place, and today I visited here , alone, for the first time. As I visited this grave site, I came to feel sadness, to accept loss, and to appreciate the release of emotions.

 The cemetery was empty when I arrived. There was a solitary car standing guard near the office building. The wind was blowing slightly, as the storm sirens began to sound. My mind transformed the sirens into a funeral dirge that would not stop. I longed to sing that same sad tune if only to give voice to my sadness.

 My sadness was the result of a great loss. When my sister died I experienced the loss of three people. The first loss was obviously the loss of a beloved sister. Yet she was far more than the word sister can describe. In our younger years she had been my defender, and now I felt undeniably defenseless. Most of all, I had lost a friend. While I stood there, a sense of acceptance washed over me. Finally, I could accept the loss and still keep the warm sweet memories of her impish smile and loving manner.
Emotion had overwhelmed me, causing tears to run down my face. Feelings of grief, sorrow and loss were jumbled up carelessly among the feelings of love and devotion. Having been able to release these emotions, I resolved to never put my feelings in chains again. Now I will cherish the release of emotions.

 Still standing by the headstone, I looked down, one last time, before leaving. I saw the roses carved into the brass plate that stated only a name and two dates. I knew that she would not wish for me to be sad or lonely, but I knew also that she would embrace the release of emotions.

Goodbye my sweet sister.

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.